Minestrone is a popular Italian soup made with vegetables, pasta or grains, and sometimes beans or meat. It is a nutritious and satisfying dish that is often served as the main course. You can customize it to your liking by using vegetable, chicken, or beef broth and adjusting the seasoning or adding different ingredients.
It is budget-friendly one-pot meal. It's a perfect way to include different nutritious vegetables in your diet. You can serve it either hot or chilled, and it's commonly topped with grated Parmesan cheese or a little olive oil.
Servings: up to 6 servings / Prep Time: 10 mins / Cook Time: 35 mins
- ¼ cup Papa Vince extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups cooked pasta - we recommend using Ancient Grain Pastas.
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
- 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, if needed
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- 15- oz of Papa Vince Cherry Tomato Sauce
- 6 cups broth, vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 (15- oz) can kidney beans
- Large handful chopped parsley
- Handful fresh basil leaves
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
HOW TO MAKE
(1) Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers, but does not smoke. Next, add onions, carrots, and celery. Increase heat to medium-high and cook while stirring regularly, until the vegetables soften slightly (for about 5 minutes). Then add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute, stirring regularly.
(2) To the mixture, include zucchini or yellow squash and green beans. Make sure to season with paprika, rosemary, and a little bit of sea salt and pepper. Mix everything together well.
(3) Add cherry tomato sauce, broth, fresh thyme, and bay leaf to the pot. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
(4) Remove the lid from the pot and add the kidney beans. Allow it to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
(5) To complete the dish, add parsley and fresh basil. If you plan to serve it right away, add the cooked pasta and let it simmer just until it's heated through. Be careful not to overcook it.
(6) After removing the bay leaf, taste the minestrone and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Finally, serve it hot with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
(1) To ensure the perfect texture for your minestrone soup is to cook the pasta separately and add it just before serving. This prevents the pasta from absorbing too much broth and becoming mushy. It may require an additional pot and step, but it's worth it for the best results
(2) For best results and to prevent the pasta from becoming mushy, wait to add the cooked pasta to the minestrone soup until you are ready to serve it, especially if you are not serving it immediately.
What to do with leftovers?
Let the Minestrone Soup cool down to room temperature and transfer it into an airtight container. You can keep it for up to 4 days. When ready to consume the leftovers, reheat the soup on the stove and bring it to a boil.
Warm the soup 30 minutes before you're planning to serve it and then stir in the cooked pasta until just warmed through. This will assure a perfectly cooked pasta.
Minestrone is a well-known Italian dish that has been popular in Italy for several centuries. The term "minestrone" is derived from the Italian word "minestra," which refers to soup. Due to its ingredients, which are typically whatever vegetables and beans are available at the time, it is often considered a "peasant dish," making it an economical and eco-friendly meal option.
Italian cuisine is based on the use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients and simple preparation methods that highlight the natural flavors of the ingredients. This is deeply ingrained in the Italian culinary tradition. Although the recipe may vary depending on factors like the region, season, and cook, the core principles of using seasonal vegetables and a delicious broth are always present.
Minestrone soup holds significant cultural value in Italy as it embodies the concept of "cucina povera," or "poor cuisine," which celebrates the use of simple ingredients and basic cooking methods to create delicious and satisfying meals. In this way, minestrone is not just a dish, but a meal that symbolizes Italian culture and legacy.